Faculty Advisor

Billiar, Kristen

Project Center

University of Massachusetts Medical Center


Head fixation is required for most neurosurgical procedures. However, the current gold standard devices can cause pressure-related complications when used on pediatric patients. The purpose of this project was to design a head fixation device that is safe for young children and reduces potential complications such as skin necrosis and pressure sores. A combined two-pin skull clamp and actuated headrest was developed. The headrest features three contoured polyurethane foam pads arranged in a horseshoe-like shape with the forehead pad actuated by a cam-follower mechanism to redistribute pressure and allow capillaries in the forehead to open and restore the blood flow. Pressure and stability tests supported head fixation with this new device was safer and stable enough for most procedures.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016


Biomedical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biomedical Engineering